Before class today, I read this magnificent piece by Anne Lamott, who's one of my favorite people on the planet. (Go read it; it's far more worth your time than this post.)
I've been thinking about grace ever since. Not the kind that ballet dancers and hummingbirds and running backs have; the kind from heaven. The kind that comes when you least expect or deserve it and bathes you in warmth and healing. A smile from a stranger. A call from a friend. The forgiveness of a family member. A little bit of extra help to get you out of bed and out of yourself and into the world. Grace got me to the yoga studio today.
In yoga class, we make ourselves vulnerable; you can't help but be vulnerable when you're trying that hard at something. As I think about it, it's actually kind of a miracle that no one in the room judges or laughs as we put ourselves out there and go through our imperfect practices.
Today as I wobbled in Standing Bow and reached in vain for the ground in (the very beginning of) Toe Stand, my weaknesses were all right there, staring back at me in the mirror.
As I tried to breathe calmly and practice stillness--
--and also transform my intense yoga face (which looks super mean and angry, no lie) into a "delighted, smiling, happy face," as awesome teacher Christian put it today--
--I thought of this scripture, which reads,
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.I'm weak in so many ways, and humility is even harder to practice than Ustrasana. But it's the catalyst for grace, so I'm choosing it hour by hour.